Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Apartheid and the Palestinian National Struggle

Richard Falk

By Richard Falk

Editor’s note
This is a grand essay on the dimensions, history, structures of the Middle East/Palestine-Israeli-Western conflict over about 100 years. It is extraordinarily rich – but doesn’t cause the reader to drown in too many details. I highly recommend it to any student – young or old, journalist and politician – whose understanding of the issues may be based on the woefully biased, general account in Western mainstream media.
- Jan Oberg

Preliminary Observations

In this period when the centenary of the genocidal victimization of the Armenian people in 1915 is being so widely observed and discussed, it seems especially appropriate to call attention to the comparable victimization of the Palestinian people. This second story of prolonged collective victimization also received its jump start almost a century ago with the issuance by the British Foreign Office of the Balfour Declaration supporting the Zionist movement project of establishing a Jewish national home in historic Palestine.

The most striking difference between these two experiences of severe historical wrongs is that the Armenian people are seeking acknowledgement and apology for what was done to their ancestors a century ago, and possibly seeking reparations, while the Palestinian people may sometime in the future have the opportunity to seek similar redress for the past but now their urgent focus is upon liberation from present daily structures of acute oppression.

This Palestinian situation is tragic, in part, because there is no clear path to liberation, and the devastation of oppressive circumstances have gone on decade after decade with no end in view.

The political puzzle of the Israel/Palestine conflict continues to frustrate American policymakers despite their lengthy diplomatic engagement in the search for a peaceful future that satisfies both peoples. There are significant changes, of course, that have occurred as time unwinds.

Perhaps, the most crucial change has involved the gradual extension of Israeli control over virtually the whole of historic Palestine with American acquiescence. This coincides with a growing and more vivid awareness around the world of how much suffering and humiliation the Palestinian people have endured over the course of the last century, and the degree to which this frozen situation can be blamed on the unlimited willingness of the United States to deploy its geopolitical muscle on Israel’s behalf.

My approach to the Palestinian struggle reflects four points of departure: Read the rest of this entry »

Strange regional alignments in the Gaza Massacre

By Richard Falk

Richard Falk

Prefatory Note

My post below, an earlier version of which was published in AlJazeera English as an opinion piece. It was written before I had the opportunity to read an illuminating assessment of the regional and global turmoil that culminated for now in the massacre carried out by Israeli armed forces in Gaza. I highly recommend “The Tragedy of Great Power: The Massacre of Gaza and the Inevitable Failure of the Arab Spring” written by the learned Islamic jurist and scholar, Khaled Abou El Fadl, a distinguished professor at UCLA School of Law, with the link to the article below:

What makes Professor El Fadl profound essay particularly valuable is his ability to fit the regional pieces together in a convincing manner, showing how and why governments that rule in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, encouraged the overthrow of Egypt’s elected government headed by Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013 and more recently encouraged Israel to destroy Hamas.

He also shows that Hamas is not accurately perceived as a byproduct of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but has its own “very distinct pedagogies, objectives and methodologies.” In depicting the forces of resistance and transformation as opposed to the geopolitics of counterrevolution as constituting the core struggle taking place throughout the region it becomes clear why the alignments in the Middle East are assuming their current configurations.

It is telling and provocative for Professor El Fadl to situate the Palestinian Liberation Organization (and by implication, the Palestinian Authority) as de facto allies of Sisi’s Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE as well as being existential partners of the United States and Israel in subjugating the region to Western goals.

What has developed further since the end of the Cold War rivalry that long dominated the region should be considered a geopolitical protection racket that gained political salience in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The upheavals of 2011 shook the foundations of the old order, and led to renewals throughout the region of Faustian Bargains by which various authoritarian regimes receive protection, including help with the destruction of any political actor, whether Islamic or not, that dares to challenge this established order composed of ultra-rich native elites claiming dynastic privileges conferred by colonial powers then seeking native collaborators to manage exploited and oppressed populations.

While these elites appease Israel, the masses in the same political space remain passionately and symbolically dedicated to the Palestinian struggle as became evident in the September 9, 2011 attack by several thousand Egyptians on the Israeli Embassy shortly while the heroic memories of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak were still fresh.

Of all the complexities surrounding the reaction of the world to the horrifying spectacle of Israel’s severe criminality in Gaza none is more perplexing than the complicity of most governments throughout the Arab world.

What makes their political posture particularly bewildering is the degree of ethnic, religious, cultural, and historical commonality that creates such close ties of identity among the peoples of the region. And no single issue has been as unifying over the decades for these people than has their long intensely felt opposition to the injustice, suffering, and exploitation that the Palestinian people have endured for the past century as a result of the encroachments of the Zionist movement on their lands. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo: It’s doable: Peace Israel-Palestine (1)

By Jan Oberg, TFF director

Jan Oberg

Lund, Sweden July 25, 2014

Violence is a dead end

Look at the violence in Gaza today, DR Congo (6 million dead), Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia etc: Isn’t it obvious that the world needs a completely new approach to conflicts?

We’ll never rid the world of conflicts, conflicts is part of human and social life. Conflict-prevention is a meaningless term.

But we can rid the world of most of its violence. If we want, if we educate each other and if economic and other interests stopped supporting killing as a tool in conflict-management.

Unrealistic? Hopelessly idealistic? Well, look at the places above and try to find the realism and hope there.

Look at the conflict not at the parties and the violence

It requires almost no intellectual effort to take sides in a conflict between A and B. If both parties use violence, that means endorsement of the violence – the justification both need: “They threaten and kill us, therefore we threaten and kill them.”

Those who support a conflict party who use violence also support violence. As long as violence continues, there will be no process towards peace – only more hate, traumas, suffering, wish for revenge and destruction.

Violence – not the conflict – becomes the main thing and tit-for-tat the rule of the game, with an increase in the violence for each round. Scorpions in a bottle, feeding each other.

Both those who are outside a conflict and debate it – for instance, 99% of the media debates – and the conflicting parties on the ground feed on violence. If A did not use violence against B, how would B justify its own killings?

Gaza today – both parties lose

This is where we are in Gaza today when reports tell that around 800 civilians have been killed without any positive effect, both losing.

It’s not about evil, it’s about desperation coupled with traumas coupled with a lack of insight and education.

This wrong-headed attitude is indicative of conflict and peace illiteracy: among the parties, our media and our decision-makers. Innocent people on both or all sides normally pay the price for it.

The world needs a completely different approach. It’s embedded in the UN Charter and called peace by peaceful means. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo: The manufactured story about Iran’s nuclear program

By Farhang Jahanpour

As Iran and the world powers resume nuclear talks in Vienna with the hope of reaching a comprehensive agreement over Iran’s nuclear program by mid-July, the Israelis and their lobbyists in Washington are intensifying their efforts to scuttle the talks. In addition to all the efforts in the US Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran, thus bringing the talks to a premature end, there are indications that Israel and her friends are continuing with various acts of sabotage against Iranian nuclear facilities.

In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted the operation of thousands of Iranian centrifuges. At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated. Iran has also said that it has discovered tiny timed explosives planted on centrifuges but has disabled them before they could go off. On Monday 17 March 2014, Iran said that an alleged attempt to sabotage one of its nuclear facilities had involved foreign intelligence agencies that had tampered with imported pumps. However, in addition to all those acts of sabotage, there seems to be an intensive effort to manufacture a crisis by means of false intelligence.

Prior to the devastating Iraq war that destroyed the country and killed upwards of half a million people, not to say anything of thousands of Coalition forces who were killed and the two trillion dollars that was spent, a number of neocons bent on the invasion of Iraq manufactured various false reports in order to mislead the public and pave the way for the war.

On September 8, 2002, Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller published a story in the New York Times that openly alleged that Saddam Hussein had intensified his quest for a nuclear bomb. They wrote: “In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium… Bush administration officials say the quest for thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes is one of several signs that Mr. Hussein is seeking to revamp and accelerate Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.”

The unsuspecting public was misled by that false intelligence and the result was one of the longest and most disastrous wars in US history.

How the manufactured crisis was manufactured

In his latest groundbreaking book, entitled A Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of Iran Nuclear Scare, the historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter catalogs a long list of false reports manufactured by Israeli intelligence agencies in order to mislead the public and pave the way for a war against Iran. (1)

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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